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State Sen. Ted Lieu confirmed Friday he will run to succeed veteran Rep. Henry Waxman, joining a field of potential successors that already includes former Los Angeles Controller Wendy Greuel.

Lieu, whose Senate territory encompasses more than 80 percent of the 33rd Congressional District, called Waxman "a living legend."

"I am running because I love America. But our nation can do better," said Lieu, D-Torrance, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserves. "I have made the hard choices that helped turn California's budget deficit into a budget surplus; fought to protect our environment; co-authored legislation to divest California's pension funds from Iran's energy and nuclear industries; and authored landmark civil rights legislation. I will fight hard for my constituents in Congress as I have done in the state Senate."

33rd Congressional District

On Thursday, Waxman announced he would not seek a 21st term in the House of Representatives. Greuel followed hours later with a Twitter message saying she would "fight like Congressman Henry Waxman on issues important to our families."

Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, and Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, have yet to indicate whether they plan to run. Others weighing a candidacy are Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Secretary of State Debra Bowen, former Democratic lawmaker Betsy Butler and Sandra Fluke, the women's rights activist.

Lieu's announcement includes endorsements from a veritable who's-who of elected officials and community leaders from inside and outside the heavily Democratic Los Angeles County congressional district that stretches from Malibu to the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

His entry into the race could yield more jockeying and set off another round of legislative dominoes should Bloom or Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, challenge for the Senate seat Lieu must relinquish. He was set to term out in 2018.

PHOTO: State Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, during a hearing at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, May 8, 2012. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli.


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